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Monday
Mar222010

Robert McCall (1920-2010)

With Robert McCall's recent death at the age of 90 it seems fitting we take a look at the artist's statement he wrote for his 1981 show at the Scottsdale Center for the Arts, A Vision of the Future: The Art of Robert McCall. You'll notice that he uses the word "artist" quite often. Apparently he struggled to be recognized as an "artist" rather than an "illustrator," which to him was a lesser term.

I am living in the future I dreamed about when I was a young boy, and for me it is just as bright and wonderful as I imagined it would be. Many of the paintings in this exhibition are my current graphic thoughts about tomorrow.

One of the joys of being an artists is the freedom to create one's own world, and through the use of brushes and paints, to explore that world and participate in adventures of the mind that the real world would not possibly provide. Like the real world, these excursions of the imagination are fraught with inaccuracies of perception -- it is rare that one glimpses through the veil of time even a hint of tomorrow's reality nor does it seem important to me, whether one's perceptions are right or wrong -- the pleasure is in making the predictions and doing the work.

Today we live in a world filled with awesome possibilities, both good and bad. The rush of technology is so rapid, to stay abreast of it has become more and more difficult. Our understanding of the physical universe continues to grow and astonish us with its marvelous complexity.

To be an artist in these times of explosive change is, for me, a privilege and a challenge. My goal is to document in my drawings and paintings a small part of this changing world and to anticipate in my work, the future that lies ahead.

 

Previously on Paleo-Future:

 

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It seems that you've put a great amount of time into your article and I want a lot more of these on the internet these days. Well, anyways... it certainly was very informative for me.


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March 25, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterhelenbrown

We live in a glorious future in which there are spambots!

I've always loved McCall's stuff. Some of it is a kind of American propagandistic kitsch, but the ecstatic quality in it is always thrilling. He filled space with colorful bubbling nebulae and mist, the better to project streaming rays out from the blazing Sun.

The giant mural he painted for the National Air and Space Museum in DC is a thing to see.

March 31, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMatt McIrvin

Matt - McCall's work is art because of the "American propagandistic kitsch." If he painted pieces with Soviet flags, and some other countries' emblems... that would make his work less artistic?

I have some of his art and love it. His art and his vision are about greatness and pushing the frontier. I can't think of anything more American than that.

April 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJim R

"I can't think of anything more American than that."

Maybe an image of the 2 million of our citizens we put in cages every year, or all the civilians our military has killed, or an oil covered shoreline? Yeah let's stick with the American Greatness myth...

May 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBeef Johnson

Beef,

You'll get over it. I promise. I love it that America being great irritates the mediocre.

July 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJim R

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